Road safety messages need to be rolled out to the parents of school children as well as the pupils themselves to cut serious accidents, a meeting heard.

Bradford Council’s Bradford South Area Committee was discussing road safety in the constituency at a meeting this month when one councillor claimed a major issue was parents desperate to drop their children off “as close to the school gate as possible.”

The committee heard that data from 2021 showed that in Bradford there were 39.6 children killed or seriously injured per 100,000 – the highest rate in West Yorkshire.

This compares to 26.1 per 100,000 children in Calderdale and 33 per 100,000 children in Leeds.

Members were told that all schools are offered road safety programmes, with there being more urgency for such visits at schools in areas of high accident rates.

Chair of the Committee Councillor Dave Green (Lab, Wibsey) said one major issue with road safety was parents inconsiderately parking outside schools.

He said: “Some parents want to drop little Jimmy Miggins as close to the school gates as they possibly can, despite what parking restrictions there might be.

“By doing this they are often putting their own child, as well as other people’s children, in danger. You get cars stopping in the middle of the road and kids jumping out as well as cars parking on zig zag lines.

“In Wibsey we even had a crossing patrol lady hit by a car.

He pointed out that funding issues meant wardens or police officers could often only patrol sites outside any school for a short time.

He added: “It improves things for 48 hours, but then we are back to where we were before.

“Do we have messaging in place to tell parents ‘do you really need to park there?’”

Becky James, Team Leader for Road Safety, said: “We’re trying to change the culture of drivers who feel they have to park as close to the school gates as they can. We can put resources in, but if no one is there to enforce it then behaviour won’t change.”

Cllr Green asked if it was possible to extend the road safety messaging given to children in school to their parents.

He added: “Is it possible we can work to let them know the dangers they need to be aware of? Working with children alone is not the answer.”

Mrs James said they did try to work with parents, but found that the parents willing to engage with safety schemes were often not the ones who needed speaking to.

Members agreed to look at working to find new ways to promote road safety messages more widely, including to parents.